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Collective bargain unit agreement on the table

By Staff | Jun 6, 2019

A collective bargaining agreement between the city and the bargaining unit members of IUPAT Local 2301 may be settled.

The Cape Coral City Council on Monday is expected to vote on whether to approve and ratify a contract between the city and the union representing its white collar, blue collar, supervisory and non-supervisory units.

On Tuesday, bargaining unit members voted in favor of ratifying the agreement, the terms of which would take effect as of Oct. 1, 2018 (the union and city did not have a contract after that date) and run through Sept. 30, 2021.

According to a memo from City Manager John Szerlag, the economic centerpiece of the agreement is that wages and payroll will not exceed the 3.25 percent per year maximum authorized or the accumulated three-year total of 10.07 percent. The wages would be retroactive to Oct. 1, 2018.

Szerlag added that an amendment to cover the additional .25 percent of payroll may be warranted.

Finance Director Victoria Bateman said in a memo that the pay ranges stay the same and are at the 75th percentile in an acceptable position to market.

Union workers will receive their raises (one step within their pay range) the first pay period after Oct. 1 in 2018, 2019, and 2020.

“I’m very pleased with the negotiations on this contract. I think our staff and council did a great job making recommendations on the contract,” said Councilmember Jennifer Nelson, who was participating in her first contract “It made both parties very happy.”

It has been a tough negotiation. A little over a month ago, the city and union declared an impasse after the city made an offer of 3 percent for three years and wanted to add a fourth, something the union did not want and said was against state statutes.

There will also be a resolution to approve funding for an additional .25 percent in payroll for police and fire unions and non-bargaining employees effective Oct. 1, 2018.

City Council also will discuss two matters that it didn’t get to last week.

It will make a recommendation for a Florida League of Cities Board of Directors nominee. Councilmember Rick Williams currently sits on the board and has expressed an interest in retaining the position.

Council also is expected to vote on an update on the rules and procedures of City Council meetings. Included among the changes would be the ability for city council members to participate in meetings remotely in the event a member is sick or out of town.

In other business, Council also is expected to vote ton a repeal Resolution 5-05, which created a resolution of necessity to acquire properties to create Festival Park.

The resolution has no legal force in regards to eminent domain, and the city has continued voluntary acquisition, of which there are 68 parcels remaining.

Council also will vote regarding changes to the city’s code of ordinances to include protecting the gopher tortoise along with the burrowing owl and to expedite the process of imposing discipline to licensed contractors for violations, by eliminating the probable cause hearing before a case comes before the Contractor Regulation Board.